Jacobs won't back effort to impeach Trump over incitement of riot at the Capitol
Some members of Congress plan to introduce at least one resolution in the House on Monday to impeach President Donald Trump following a riot -- what has been called an insurrection or attempt to overthrow the government -- by hundreds of his supporters at the Capitol Building on Tuesday.
Rep. Chris Jacobs said he does not support impeachment.
“To carry out an unprecedented, politicized, and rushed impeachment proceeding with less than two weeks left in the President’s term would have catastrophic effects on the civil fabric of our nation," Jacobs said in a prepared statement. "President Trump has committed to a smooth and orderly transition of power and that should be our focus for the next 10 days."
Congress was in joint session at the time, meeting to certify the Electoral College votes confirming Joe Biden as the victor in the nation's Nov. 3 presidential election.
Trump has made numerous baseless claims of a stolen election. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud nor that he actually won by "millions of votes" as he has claimed. Trump and his team have filed 62 lawsuits claiming election irregularities and all but one of them have been dismissed by state and federal courts, including two that reached the conservative-controlled Supreme Court. In cases where Trump's attorneys were asked to produce evidence of fraud, they've admitted they have no evidence to present.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump staged a rally in Washington, D.C., inviting his followers to come to the nation's capitol to "stop the steal."
At the rally that morning, Trump said, "You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength. You have to be strong."
There are news reports of Trump followers threatening the life of Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Police officers have reported finding off-duty police officers and military veterans among the protesters who came prepared for violence.
Five people died during the riot, including a capitol police officer and war veteran, Brian D. Sicknick, who was reportedly bludgeoned to death with a fire extinguisher. Two Trump supporters died -- a woman from San Diego who was shot by Capitol police while she was part of a group trying to breach a section of the Capitol Building, and a Trump supporter who was trampled to death by other Trump supporters.
"The demonstrators who infiltrated the Capitol have defiled the seat of American democracy," Trump said. "To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction, you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law, you will pay."
It's unclear what path the House might take leading up to a vote on articles of impeachment. If passed, the articles would be transmitted to the Senate. It would be up to the Senate to decide whether to hold a trial. Trump could only be removed from office if the Senate voted to convict him of charges in the articles of impeachment. Some legal scholars believe Trump could be potentially be tried by the Senate even after he leaves office.
If convicted, he would be barred from running for federal office again.
Here's Jacobs' full statement:
“The events of this past week represent a dark period for our nation. The kind of reprehensible violence we saw has absolutely no place in our democracy, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. I cherish our First Amendment right to protest, but we must settle our differences peacefully, not with mob rule. Right now, many feel disenfranchised, our nation is divided, and tensions are high. The last thing our country needs is more division.
“To carry out an unprecedented, politicized and rushed impeachment proceeding with less than two weeks left in the President’s term would have catastrophic effects on the civil fabric of our nation. President Trump has committed to a smooth and orderly transition of power and that should be our focus for the next 10 days.